Soldiers with the Tigrayan forces in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia Photograph:( AFP )
The crackdown comes following reports of TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebels reaching near Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa
Ethiopian authorities have now rounded up high-profile Tigrayans in a mass crackdown on suspected supporters of rebellious northern forces. From a bank CEO to priests and the United Nations staff, everyone was targeted in the crackdown.
The police denied targeting the Tigrayan ethnic group as they said that those arrested were believed to have links to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
The crackdown comes following reports of TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebels reaching near Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The fighters were reportedly spotted in Kemise town which is 325 km from Addis Ababa.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago, had sent troops to Tigray late last year to overpower the TPLF which was the ruling party in the region. However, the group struck back in June retaking several areas in Tigray.
The year-long conflict has killed thousands of people and forced more than two million out of their homes.
The US and other nations called for a ceasefire in Ethiopia amid fighting between Tigrayan forces and government troops.
The Biden administration has said that it was "gravely concerned" about the situation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called for a ceasefire, saying, "The conflict in Ethiopia must come to an end."
The United Nations has said that up to 7 million people in the Ethiopian regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar need help. This includes 5 million in Tigray where some 400,000 people are estimated to be living in famine-like conditions.
(With inputs from agencies)